Spurs and Chelsea up and running

A review of Sunday's action in the Barclays Premier League, as Chelsea and Tottenham make winning starts.

Last Updated: 18/08/13 at 18:07 Post Comment

Frank Lampard celebrates after netting Chelsea's second goal against Hull

Frank Lampard celebrates after netting Chelsea's second goal against Hull

Jose Mourinho marked his return to the Premier League and Chelsea with a 2-0 home win over newly-promoted Hull City.

Mourinho's side were gifted an early chance to get their season off to the perfect start when referee Jonathan Moss pointed to the spot following Hull goalkeeper Alan McGregor's collision with Fernando Torres. However, the Scottish international was able to redeem himself, pulling off a fine save to deny Frank Lampard from 12 yards.

The hosts controlled the opening stages of the game, with their pressure paying off on the 12 minute mark when Brazil midfielder Oscar poked the ball under McGregor after being played in by Kevin de Bruyne.

Lampard atoned for his spot-kick miss to double Chelsea's lead with a long-range free-kick midway through the first-half as the Blues threatened to run riot. He was then unlucky not to make it three just before the break when McGregor denied him with a smart save before Branislav Ivanovic was also thwarted by the Scotsman who palmed away his powerful header.

As the hour mark approached, Hull boss Steve Bruce introduced new signings Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore who both arrived from Tottenham earlier this week. The Tigers put in a spirited display after the interval and they came closest to pulling one back when Petr Cech caught Curtis Davies' goal bound header.

Despite Hull's resilience as the game drew on, chances for either side were few and far between as Mourinho enjoyed a winning start to his second spell in the hot seat at Stamford Bridge.

Roberto Soldado scored the only goal of the game on his Premier League debut as Andre Villas-Boas' new-look Tottenham side edged past Crystal Palace.

Without Real Madrid target Gareth Bale, ruled out because of a foot injury, Villas-Boas handed starts to three new signings and Soldado was the most impressive of the trio.

The Spain striker, signed from Valencia for a club record £26million, troubled the Palace back four throughout with his movement and he dispatched a second-half penalty to win the match after Dean Moxey handled Aaron Lennon's cross.

Paulinho's bustling presence in midfield helped the visitors out in what was a scrappy encounter, but Tottenham at times lacked the bit of magic that Bale would bring.

To be fair to Villas-Boas' squad, three of the four new faces on display have barely trained with their team-mates and they could well have won this game by three or four had Julian Speroni not performed superbly in goal. Gylfi Sigurdsson and substitute Jermain Defoe were also guilty of missing easy chances to kill off the game in the second half.

Palace, for their part, will take encouragement from this game. Their back four looked solid and if Speroni plays as he did today then they may not be the relegation certainties of most pre-season predictions.


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